This is a new old story. One I wrote way back when. The first story I ever published—but now, refurbed, prettied up, and readied for prime time. Sort of. It’s also just a tad raunchier than my current stuff. ¿Cómo es posible? You gotta love the alphabet: mf, mff, mfm, and of course, orgies…
And at the core, a romance between the captain of a pirate space ship and the captain of a prison ship who also happens to be another prisoner.
Check it out. It’s coming your way next week…
“Captain, I’ve picked up the ship’s warning beacon.”
Captain Adamarik Zingh straightened from the navigation console. At last. The final stage of his plan was about to unfold. The beacon was programmed to broadcast as soon as any ship approached within hailing distance of the penitentiary. “Let’s hear it.”
His communications mate pressed the intercom switch.
“Warning! You are entering Interplanetary Dominion-controlled space.” The computer-generated message transmitted in the Universal Language. “This ship is a Dominion Prison. Any vessel detected within a one hundred milli-league radius of the ship will be destroyed.”
“Retract the visor,” Adam ordered, ignoring the warning.
The whirring sound that accompanied the retracting curtain of metal made Adam wince, reminding him of the loss of his previous spacecraft. Its state-of-the-art bioluminescent screen would have recreated the view of space without leaving the ship’s hull vulnerable.
But pirates couldn’t be too choosy. The lumbering transport vessel he now captained had enabled his band of raiders to creep close to their target, beneath the blanket of the Dominion’s detector beams. Its unremarkable appearance in this little-traveled part of the universe was a perfect ruse.
“I see her, Adam.” The man at the helm, first mate Cantor Marlow, dipped the prow of the ship leeward. The sudden change in tack caused the old barge to shudder violently as it resisted the gravitational pull exerted by the desolate, uninhabitable planet the larger prison ship orbited. Then a low, ominous groan from the hull itself rattled the consoles, spilling cups and charts onto the floor.
Adam maintained his balance, barely, and turned to glower at his first mate. “Cookie’ll dice your innards for that. He’ll be cleaning grub from the ceiling for a week.”
Cantor shrugged, a wicked twinkle in his eye. “I was just making sure the breaching crewmen were out of their bunks.” His gaze shifted beyond Adam. “There she is.”
Adam glanced through the open portal, searching space beyond the rim of the small planet. An infinite, black night stretched before him. Full of endless possibilities. An irresistible siren’s call that had beckoned him from his first voyage.
Then he saw it. The enormous hull of the prison ship loomed in the distance. Anticipation leapt in his veins. “Alert the breaching crew.”
His first mate grunted. “Lucky sods.”
Three whistles shrilled, followed by the alert message.
“Cantor, you’re in charge,” Adam called over his shoulder as he headed toward the ship’s hold.
“Aye, sir. Good luck—and don’t forget my list.”
Adam slapped his palm against the door button, and it slid silently open. Within the hold, the breaching crew was assembling—or at least he thought it was his crew. Gone were their beards and rough pirate’s clothing. In their place stood well-scrubbed, clean-chinned men.
His security officer, Darak, strode toward him clad in a deep azure shirt tucked into tan leather breeches.
“What in hell are you wearing?”
“It’s just a little something I picked up at our last port of call. Alarian silk.” Darak shrugged, grinning sheepishly. “Quite sturdy material, actually.”
“You look like a damned peacock,” Adam muttered. His gaze swept over the rest of his breaching party, and he fisted his hands on his hips. “I’m capturing a ship with a bloody flock of peacocks.”
Darak cleared his voice and wiped his expression clean of amusement. “The men await your orders, sir. They’re eager for this mission. Every one of them volunteered.”
Adam rolled his eyes. “They fought for the right to board. I’m lucky to have any crew left with blood enough for this capture. Is the breaching craft loaded?”
“Aye, aye, sir. With eight days of supplies, should we need them.”
“Very well. Let’s get on with this.”
Darak pivoted on his heels. “Attention,” he shouted.
The crew leapt to obey, forming two ranks along the bulkhead.
Adam stomped down the line, his nose itching as he passed through a cloud of contesting colognes emanating from his bloodthirsty crew. “Are you planning on conquering them with smell?” he growled. As he passed his medic, he stiffened, and his eyes watered uncontrollably. He paused, sniffing.
Doc blinked rapidly, moisture welling in his own eyes. “It’s the scent of Alarian rose, sir—mixed with the pheromones of a Moldan yak. Very potent.”
Adam growled and stalked back to the front of the formation. “We’ll enter the prison through the docking station. Be quick. Let’s have them contained before they realize we aren’t the warden and her guards. We only have a narrow window of time to get aboard undetected by the Dominion’s security system.” As he delivered his last instruction, he narrowed his eyes. “Don’t trip over your lace.”
“Captain.” Darak lifted a hand.
“Sir, the men want to know if we’re certain this is the right prison ship.”
“I paid ten thousand dinars in Earth gold for the information. If it’s not the right ship, you’d best be ready to defend your virtue.” Adam enjoyed a moment’s satisfaction as his crew absorbed the message, their gazes shifting. “We’ve eight days to survive aboard ship before the Intrepid can rendezvous again without Dominion detection.”
Another crew member raised his hand. “Is it really a ship full of female convicts?”
“Aye, and ripe for rescue,” Darak answered, producing muffled laughter and cheers among his shipmates.
“How long have they been deployed?” one yeoman asked.
“Over three years,” Adam answered. “And their last resupply was a year ago. They may all be dead. We might find only a ghost ship.”
“Sir.” Ivan, the science officer and youngest of his crew, lifted two fingers. “What if there aren’t enough suitable women aboard for our purpose?”
“If they’re fertile, they’ll suit,” he replied bluntly. “When does our window open?”
Ivan checked his wrist computer. “The asteroid, Cygnet, will block Dominion detector beams beginning in five minutes.”
“Board up.” Adam shouted. He followed his crew into the breaching craft, scratching his beard and wondering if he should have changed his clothing.
* * *
Before the siren finished its first warning peal, Cell Block Captain Evena McClure rolled out of her bunk and onto her feet in one fluid movement.
“Damn HS block.” Two nights running, she’d answered alarms in the high-security cell block. Although tired and cranky, she raced from her quarters to the cabinet that housed the behavior modification clubs, the only weapons permitted aboard the prison ship. Slapping her palm to the security reader, she waited impatiently until the door latch popped.
At the sound of the heavy thud of her CB sergeant’s footfalls approaching, she tossed her a weapon, and then shouldered her own club.
“Thought I’d get a decent night’s sleep, for once.” Mary Grogan smiled, a flash of startling white against her dark chocolate face as she fell into step beside Evena. “You wanna bet on who’s raising a ruckus this time?”
Evena shook her head. “No, I won’t take that bet. I’d lose.”
Together, the two women rushed down the corridor leading from the guard quarters directly to the security surveillance room. Entering, Evena noted the two women on night watch standing at the viewing panels. “Calandra, what’s the problem?”
The guard darted a glance over her shoulder. “That damn psychopath Celestine refused to don her uniform, again. I sent a couple of guards to persuade her, but she got the drop on them. Celestine’s fashioned a wire whip.” She moved to the side to allow Evena to see the viewing screen. “One guard’s down. The other’s doing her best to keep out of reach.”
Evena frowned as she watched the battle in the cell. The guards’ uniforms were shredded, and one guard was bleeding heavily. “Dammit. I’m going in.”
“Have a care. She’s slicing ribbons off them.” Calandra released the lock on the security gate to the high-risk cell block, and then offered Evena a disgruntled grin. “Why don’t you just kill her? No one’ll miss that one.”
“Sorry to disappoint, but she’s not worth risking my pardon.” Evena slid back the door and jogged toward Celestine Monteval’s cell, Mary once again at her heels.
The occupants of the other cells didn’t alert their fellow prison mate of their approach, evidence that even the most extreme of the violent offenders weren’t rooting for the bitch.
Grunts and curses sounded from the open cell door.
Evena hefted her club, smacking it against her palm loudly as she stood in the door frame.
Celestine spun toward her then let the tail of her whip fall lax against the floor.
Evena spared a single glance at the bloodied guard, who slid down the wall, chest heaving, relief evident in her expression.
A throaty chuckle drew Evena’s attention back to the problem, and she narrowed her eyes.
Celestine was naked except for the tattoo of a crimson snake which undulated across her golden skin, emphasizing a figure that would inflame a monk—which was what Evena felt like these days. Celestine’s perfect white teeth flashed in a triumphant smile. “Captain, did I wake you?” she asked mockingly.
Evena ignored the woman’s taunt. Instead, she glanced over her shoulder at Mary. “While I keep her occupied, get the other two out of here.”
“And Mary? She doesn’t come out of here alive.”
Celestine’s lips thinned into a malevolent grimace, emphasized by the ominous hiss of her homemade whip slapping against the floor.
Evena cocked her head left then right, popping the vertebrae in her neck, before she said in a bored tone, “Okay Celestine, I’m asking you once, nicely, to get back into your uniform.”
“I hate to disappoint you, but I can’t possibly. My skin doesn’t breathe in that damn thing.” She smoothed a hand down her naked flank.
Evena gritted her teeth. Celestine sounded ready to refuse every reasonable offer. However, Evena’s office demanded she offer a peaceable settlement. “Well, I’ll make a deal with you,” she said in a tone that implied she didn’t think Celestine had the intellect to understand. “You put the uniform back on, and I won’t withhold your water rations.”
A frown darkened the stunning face of the psychopath. “You can’t do that. Who made you God?”
“The majority of the women aboard the New Attica elected me CB captain.”
“I don’t recognize your right to order me around. You’re no better than I am.”
Oh yeah? Who’s running this ship, and who’s stuck in an HS cage? Evena’s pride kept the starch in her backbone and her retort behind her teeth. “The women have given me the right. I’m responsible for order aboard this ship. My first duty is to ensure that every prisoner abides by the recycling laws.”
“Here’s what I think of your rules.” Celestine swung her arm wide, jerking it back at the top of the arc to produce a lightning crack of her whip.
Evena dodged right, narrowly escaping the razor-sharp metal.
Celestine advanced, her face red with rage. “It’s not fair. Why do you get the run of the ship, while I’m locked in here?”
“Because you’re nuts, Celestine.” Evena forced herself to stand still, pretending unconcern for her opponent’s approach. The woman was unpredictable. While Evena was confident she could subdue her, and itched for an excuse to take her down, she’d die before she let Celestine know she held a healthy respect for brutality. “Our internal review board sentenced you to this block. I’m merely upholding their ruling.”
Celestine fisted her hands at her sides. “I’m going fucking insane here. I’m from Arturia. I’m not made to be without a partner.”
“You tried to take the face off your last lover, Celestine.”
“The bitch threatened to leave me,” Celestine screeched. “I was just helping her on her way.”
Suddenly, the whip snaked out, wrapping around the end of Evena’s club. Celestine jerked sharply.
The tug was meant to disarm Evena, but she’d anticipated the move and pulled back hard.
Celestine cried out and released the whip to avoid slicing open her hand. Before the whip even hit the floor, she leapt at Evena.
Evena took the force of the other woman’s charge and rolled with it, quickly pinning her to the ground. Grasping Celestine’s hands, she stretched her arms above her head and lowered her body to trap her opponent against the floor, careful to keep her face out of reach of the other woman’s sharp teeth.
Celestine shuddered beneath her, her expression morphing in a second from enraged to sultry. “Oooh, if I’d known you were that hard-up, I’d have issued another kind of invitation.”
Evena wiped all emotion from her face. “Shut up.”
“What’s the matter? Want some?” she asked with a roll of her belly.
The smell of the woman’s sweat was pungent, yet strangely enticing. Evena glowered, disgusted she’d even noticed. “I’d sooner fuck my nightstick.”
Celestine’s sultry pout grew surly, and she resumed bucking beneath Evena, nearly unseating her.
Evena shifted, clamping her forearm over Celestine’s and freeing a hand to grab Celestine’s hair. She lifted the other woman’s head off the floor then slammed it down. “This is the way this is going down.” Thump. “I’m getting up slowly. You’re not going to so much as twitch.” Thump. “Because if you do, Mary will use her stick to lobotomize you.” She twisted her fingers into the hair and tugged hard. “Do you understand me?”
“Yes,” Celestine ground out.
Evena stared into the dangerous woman’s eyes until Celestine finally turned away. “I’m getting up now. When I say so, I want to see you putting on your uniform.”
“I’m not wearing it.” Celestine’s voice was petulant and small. “It smothers me.”
Evena fisted a hand in her hair, forcing Celestine to look at her. “Listen, you spoiled little bitch! You haven’t the right to withhold your sweat or piss. If you don’t comply, you won’t get your ration of water. Do you understand me?”
Celestine snarled and pitched beneath her.
Evena’s already bad mood soured. She wished like hell the woman would lay still. Too much time had passed since she’d touched another person’s naked skin. That she was lying on top of a professional courtesan further frosted her ass.
Two shrill whistles sounded.
Evena’s head snapped up. “Damn. The warden.” She let Celestine’s head thump back against the floor and sprang off her. She swept up her club from the floor and shot a glance to Mary. “I’ll have to let you clean up here.”
Mary grinned, slapping her club against her palm. “My pleasure.”
With adrenaline still pumping through her veins, Evena passed the HS gate and loped toward the docking station. A visit from the warden could mean news of her pardon—if she wasn’t just delivering new prisoners. At the very minimum, the prison galley would receive its annual shipment of protein packs and water to supplement their recycled stores.
As she approached the docking station, she heard screams from within. The door slid open, and three of her guards ran out. “Captain, pirates are boarding!”
Cold dread settled in her stomach. “Get to the security room. Arm yourselves. Sound the general alert.”
Evena raised her club and entered the room overflowing with men—brightly dressed men. And more were climbing through the docking port. Four of her guards struggled wildly to escape their captors’ arms. “Release the women,” she shouted.
All gazes turned toward her. Evena wondered whether she should’ve waited for reinforcements as one man strode toward her. Unlike his comrades, he was dressed entirely in black. His dark, disheveled hair brushed the tops of his shoulders, and a many-days-old beard stubbled his chin. His dark gaze swept over her in a single quick appraisal, burning her skin.
Evena’s pulse pounded loudly in her ears, and a quiver of awareness fluttered deep in her belly. He was a large man, broad-shouldered and heavily muscled, and despite his wary scowl, a handsome one. She raised her club higher and bent her knees, sinking into a fighting stance.
The bearded pirate raised a hand. “I come in peace.”
Evena dropped her glance to the laser sword at his side before mocking his claim with a cynical lift of her brow.
He spread his hands wide and took another step toward her. “We couldn’t be sure who would be aboard.”
She snorted. “What? You couldn’t read the warning on the portal? This is the New Attica. A prison ship. The Dominion doesn’t have a sense of humor about intruders. And weapons aren’t permitted here.”
His frown deepened, and he took another step forward. “That isn’t exactly a toothpick you wield.”
Evena resisted the urge to retreat. “I’ll repeat. You and your men have trespassed on a Dominion prison. We’ve nothing of value to steal here.”
“I take it you’re in charge?”
“Yes, and I’m ordering you to depart immediately.”
“I’m afraid we can’t do that for at least another eight days—that is, if we don’t want to be caught in the security beams and obliterated.”
“Not my problem.”
The corners of his lips twitched. “You’re a stubborn wench—and a bit bloodthirsty. I like that. Aren’t you curious why we’re here?”
“Nope,” she said, shifting from one foot to the other. Aware of movement around her, she was unable to look toward it, as the bearded man was now within the reach of her club. “Like I said, we’ve nothing here of value.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. We’re here to conduct a little business with you and your fellow inmates.”
“Then you’ve wasted your time. What exactly do you think we have to bargain with?”
“Explain that before I beat in what’s left of your brains.”
“Very well. We seek wives.”